Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks (1968)




Raised by his grandparents in Reading, MA, Simon Stokes was seen by his peers as a loner or solitary child. By the age of ten he had become a sleepwalker. His grandfather would often take Stokes to see the Harry D. Stokes Orchestra, which was his introduction to music. In his teenage years, Stokes became influenced by the blues, often listening to a local DJ named Sid Symphony and attending all-night concerts. Stokes saw Big Mama Thornton and Hank Ballard among countless others, each having an impact on him. After entering a local songwriting contest and winning the top prize, Stokes ventured to Los Angeles in his early 20s. Beginning in 1965, Stokes recorded a number of 45s under names such as the Flower Children and Heathen Angels. At the same time, Stokes became a staff writer at Elektra Records. Forming a band called the Nighthawks, Stokes and MC5 signed to Elektra on the same day.
In 1973, Stokes released his debut album, Incredible Simon Stokes, on Spindizzy Records. The album was a psychedelic blues record in the vein of Captain Beefhart. That same year, Stokes released Simon Stokes & the Black Whip Thrill Band on Spindizzy. The album's cover was reportedly the first banned album cover in the United States. Featuring S&M scenes as well as females being whipped, the controversy created a cult following for the musician, especially among biker groups. In 1977, Buzzard of Love was released. After this album, Stokes basically went underground, releasing no material for nearly two decades. In 1996, he returned to music circles by releasing Right to Fly which he did with '60s counter-culture icon Timothy Leary. In 2002, Stokes released a country-rock album titled Honky. Featuring members of the Bellrays and Wayne Kramer, the album's sound was compared to outlaw singers such as Waylon Jennings and David Allan Coe.
~ Jason MacNeil, Rovi


Simon Stokes (vocals)
Don Senneville (lead guitar)
Randall Keith (guitar)
Bob Ledger (bass)
Joe Yuele (drums)

" ... Саймон Стоукс... Лунатик, одиночка и большой любитель классических фильмов про монстров, которые так любил его дед - руководитель биг-бэнда Гэрри Д.Стоукс.
Еще подростком Саймон увлекся блюзом и ритм-н-блюзом, слушая легендарного ди-джея Симфони Сида. В 1965 Стоукс под именами Flower Children и Heathen Angels записывает в Лос Анджелесе несколько сорокопяток. Затем он образует группу The Nighthawks и получает работу штатного сочинителя песен на фирме грамзаписи Elektra в тот же день, когда Elektra подписала контракты с такими монстрами, как MC5 и The Stooges!
Саймон Стоукс создал этот психо-блюзо-хардроковый альбом в 1968 под влиянием творчества Captain Beefheart и тотчас стал культовой фигурой для всех штатовских байкеров.
Его следующий альбом The Black Whip Thrill Band, на обложке которого красовалась фотография в стиле садо-мазо, и споры о которой не утихают и по сей день, только увеличила число его поклонников. Считается, что это была первая обложка с пластинки, запрещенная в Штатах. Затем последовал альбом 1977 года Buzzard of Love, совместные записи с наркотическим гуру Тимоти Лири, саундтреки к фильмам и знаменитые своими дебошами турне по Америке. А потом Стоукс залег на дно и не записывался почти два десятка лет...
Совсем недавно, в 2002 году, он все-таки вернулся для того, чтобы записать со своими давними поклонниками Уэйном Креймером и группой Bellrays альбом Honky... "

1. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Big City Blues (2:49)
2. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Where Are You Going (2:53)
3. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Jambalaya (On The Bayou) (3:03)
4. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Sugar Ann (2:45)
5. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Southern Girl (2:15)
6. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Which Way (5:43)
7. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Voodoo Woman (2:27)
8. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Rhode Island Red (3:19)
9. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Cajun Lil (1:48)
10. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Down In Mexico (3:13)
11. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - You've Been In (3:52)
12. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Ride On Angel (4:02)

Simon Stokes the crazy hard psych rocker par excellence. Grandson of big band leader Harry D. Stokes, Simon Stokes was known as a loner, sleepwalker, and fan of the classic monster movies his grandfather loved. As a teenager, Stokes became obsessed with the blues and R&B via the legendary DJ Symphony Sid. Beginning in 1965, Stokes recorded a number of 45s in LA as the Flower Children and Heathen Angels. He then got a deal as a staff writer at Elektra the same day they signed his friends The MC5 and The Stooges! That’s not it for impressive connections…
Simon Stokes made this album, beyond Captain Beefheart in the psychedelic blues stakes, in 1968, and became a cult figure with Biker groups everywhere! His next album, "The Black Whip Thrill Band", with it's outrageous S&M cover, caused a controversy which refuses to die down even today and made his cult following even larger!
Subsequent recordings with Timothy Leary and others followed, as well as film soundtracks and legendary debauched tours, until Stokes went underground. More recently, in 2002, he returned to form with the album "Honky", recorded with long-time fans Wayne Kramer and members of the Bellrays. must for all fans of MC5, The Stooges, Captain Beefheart, and heavy psychedelic blues everywhere!
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